Haven’t I seen you somewhere before??
This was the question that I asked last night as I watched the 2017 Strictly Come Dancing launch show. With the odd one or two notable exceptions(which I’ll come on to shortly), it was the same type of launch show that we have seen on our screens for the last goodness knows how many years. Yes, it was all a bit samey, but nevertheless it made for an enjoyable watch all the same. Oh and before I end this introduction, can we please have either funny celebrities Susan Calman or Brian Conley lifting up the winning glitter ball this year….you know it makes sense British public!
The show got off to its usual fast lively start which saw new head judge Shirley Ballas, doing an amazing dance routine that would have put Wayne Sleep to shame. I can’t move as good as that aged forty, never mind when I’m her age. With a short V-T clip introducing to us who Shirley was shown a bit later on, my initial hunch is that the Strictly powers-that-be have chosen really well in replacing the retired Len Goodman with her. She definitely made an initial favourable impression on me.
The most moving aspect of the show was undoubtedly and as expected, when they paid an emotional tribute to the late, Sir Bruce Forsyth(previous presenter). They got the tone and balance just about right, it was not over-the-top like it could have been. There were touching words from some of the professional dancers on the show that had worked with him through the years. Tess Daly, became overcome with emotion in the concluding part of the tribute. As she very befittingly said at the end about him, ‘to put it in his own words, didn’t he do well’.
We then had the usual pairing off of the celebrities with their new professional partners. Professional dancer Giovanni Pernice, looked absolutely thrilled to get Debbie McKee(yes that’s sarcasm). His over exuberant celebration at getting Debbie, looked about as genuine as Father Christmas!
The two stars of the show as already hinted at by me, were comedienne Susan Calman and comedian/entertainer Brian Conley. Susan is sooooooo out of her comfort zone that I actually found myself welling up when she got the partner she wanted the most in the form of Kevin Clifton(aka Kevin from Grimsby). Talking of which, the laugh of the night was when Brian Conley got his dance partner Amy Dowden. He mocked the other celebrities by saying Amy was the one he’d always wanted, but then shouted across to her what was her name(made me laugh anyway)?
Other celebrities worth remarking upon were celebrity chef Simon Rimmer and pop star Mollie King(from The Saturdays). I hope my initial impressions of Simon are wrong, but he seems to have inherited the verbal diarrhoea syndrome from which fellow Strictly celebrity Mark Wright(TOWIE) had a few years ago. With regards to Mollie, I had never heard her talk before. Little did I know that she sounds posher than our actual Queen!
All-in-all, a great return for a much loved programme that I for one will be watching all the way up to Christmas. Can we just have a ‘funny act’ winning it this year though, go on British public……..KEEP DANCING! 4/5.